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Guilin

Written on: Wednesday November 21st, 2007

A journal entry from: Around The World Without A Plane

On my way to recovery, we reached Guilin via the 21 hour hard sleeper train journey from Shanghai. You really would have thought we'd have had enough of trains by now. My image of Guilin as this idillic little village, surrounded by multitudes of rice fields and of course the Guilin mountains, one of the places I had most looked forward to visiting before we'd even started the trip, was immediately torn to sheds and thrown back on the train to Shanghai.

Instead of the village I had seen on the scrolls of several Chinese restaurants back in England, we were instead subjected to another Chinese city intent on building on just about every piece of land they could possibly find, and all at the same time too.

I confess it wasn't actually that bad, but my illusion had been quickly shattered, probably a good thing though as it got a lot, lot better from there.

We booked in at a nice enough hostel and then ventured out in to the town. My stomach was still on the dodgy side, although apparently cured by my decision to no longer bother to starve myself of anything but bread and water in Shanghai, but instead to tuck in to a super-size KFC meal. Now in Guilin I put it to the real test devouring the finest of steaks in a rather plush restaurant for the price of a Chico Land chicken burger back home.

Relaxing over a few games of pool, and a movie night consisting of Castaway and The Shining we turned in early in preparation for an early start the next morning on a slow boat up the Li River to Yangshuo.